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watch/device to measure distance walked

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What are the best watches/devices to measure your distance walked each day?
I’ve walked caminos with people where our various smartphones (sometimes of the same brand) have differed wildly in terms of tracking distance, as in one was almost double another even though they should have been the same. So my suggestion is to use a guidebook/Gronze/your phone to approximate the distance walked and don’t worry about it if it’s not 100% accurate.
 
So my suggestion is to use a guidebook/Gronze/your phone to approximate the distance walked and don’t worry about it if it’s not 100% accurate.
Great advice by @jungleboy! I know that in the past that I’ve gotten too wrapped up with keeping track of exact distances, number of steps, or calories burned. My Apple devices, both my phone and watch, have fitness apps on them if I were to want to get readings on my activities. However, as mentioned above, Gronze will give you a pretty accurate idea of the distances you walk each day. Beyond that, I’m not sure if you need anything else or anything more accurate. Just enjoy your walk.
 
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What are the best watches/devices to measure your distance walked each day?
The responses above might satisfy your question. I rely on my Fitbit to advise me whether I’m still living or have passed. Its “steps” and mileage measurements seem to be remarkably accurate. It’s “three satellite GPS” probably helps there. But, and this is one of those Tinker bits, why do you want to know? My Fthing is useful to me when I’m arguing with my assorted medical advisors and helps me monitor my daily/weekly activity but it doesn’t change the distance between anywhere and somewhere unless I take the long way round. The distances available to be walked on any given Camino are well known and published. The actual distance walked by any given pilgrim while nipping into the bushes for a tinkle or doing two laps of a pueblo looking for an open bar will always make a difference to the record. Meanwhile, Santiago isn’t going anywhere and the distance you have to walk in order to get there depends entirely upon where you start 😉
 
What are the best watches/devices to measure your distance walked each day?
I’m a Garmin Vivosmart+ guy. Distances via GPS, tracks many things including steps, elevation, barometric pressure, timers, alarms, heart rate, and locations to name a few. Waterproof too. I suppose it depends on budget, style sensitivity and wants/needs. Lots to choose from. Good luck. 🚶
 
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I've got a Garmin Instinct 2S solar which I bought especially for the Olvidado. It worked fine and is fairly accurate but the solar edition is questionable. As I needed gps tracks for most of that route I am certainly glad that I had a powerful power bank as on a few stages I really needed it.

In the past I had a Fitbit but it was sooooo inaccurate as far as km walked. It would every day underestimate the total km walked (compared to Gronze for example). One year on the Norte I was walking with a Serbian military officer with a Garmin Felix (super deluxe model) and at the end of the day we would compare km. The Fitbit would underestimate the total km by more than 5 km.

I use my Garmin daily, just for fun, to track my total steps and km walked. Although I don't need an external stimuli to get moving, it really does work. My daily goal is 20,000 steps (I have a dog) and if near the end of the day I'm close to 20,000 I will make that extra effort to reach the goal.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I use Walkmeter to show the distance walked. I've used it on over a 1000 miles of walking. The premium feature has a nice option in that it stores the logs into the cloud so that you don't have to worry about losing them. It also sends emails to named addresses so that people can follow you (in my case, my spouse).

Another standalone app that I've found useful is GPS Tracks. It produces downloadable tracks (so does Walkmeter - but with a few steps in between) that can be imported into other tools.

On a side note, I've noticed that my Fitbit (while normally accurate) is very often wrong when I walk and use poles. I think that is because the motion (or lack thereof) when you are using poles doesn't match their algorithms for detecting steps.
 
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What are the best watches/devices to measure your distance walked each day?
A variety of GPS watches from Garmin or COROS. All good for gps tracking,
mapping, distances, walking data such as times, average speeds, heart rates, calorie estimates. Many GPS mapping, navigation apps such as Gaia GPS. Or simple exercise apps the track walking, hiking, cycling, etc like Strava. There are a lot of options. No “best” solution out there.
 
What are the best watches/devices to measure your distance walked each day?
They all work quite well, be it on smartphones or dedicated devices.

The accuracy of the distance travelled will depend on the refresh rate of your geographical position on the GPS tracking device, i.e. 2 identical devices, with one's refresh rate set to 1 minute will return a much higher distance than one set with a 10 minute refresh rate: the distance will be the sum of the straight lines between 2 sequential measurement points. Bear in mind that the higher the refresh rate the higher the power consumption of your device. There's no free lunch to be had. As to how to set the measurement interval, please refer to the owner's manual.
 
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I’m a Garmin Vivosmart+ guy. Distances via GPS, tracks many things including steps, elevation, barometric pressure, timers, alarms, heart rate, and locations to name a few. Waterproof too. I suppose it depends on budget, style sensitivity and wants/needs. Lots to choose from. Good luck. 🚶
BTW, the Peloton App allows you to record your walking activities and it gave very similar results compared to my Garmin. It does consume a lot of battery though.
 
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I agree with the early comments asking why we need to track distance. The OP’s have a point. My only answer is that I like to track it across the full length - people at home ask how far I walk and it helps to tell them something from experience.

I notice Garmin devices are referenced a lot. I use a Polar Vantage watch and would be a great advocate. I have compared results from my Polar tracker on various day walks in the mountains with the results obtained on the same walk by friends using Garmin and Suunto watches - nothing tallied.

IMHO, if you want one, have a look around the marketplace, think carefully about your requirements and compare the devices. You could easily spend >£500.
 
I use Runkeeper om my fine, works perfect for me. It is free and you can upload it automatically, and use the tracks later.
But whatever you use, know that it is important to put the device or app on pause when you take a break. Otherwise it keeps tracking your position continuously. Because it is never perfect and tracks you on a slightly different place, the app thinks that you are still moving a little which makes adding up little distances to your daywalk.
 
I used a Garmin Forerunner 945 on Camino Portuguese and Camino Del Norte. That model is aimed at triathletes and is overkill for basic recording of walking distance. Accuracy similar to any other GPS watch, like the Apple, Suunto and Polar models others have referenced. A less expensive GPS version from Garmin or those brands would be fine.
Something alluded to in the other responses, but not actually stated, is the difference between a watch that uses GPS tracking versus a watch (like the Fitbit) that is just counting your steps and multiplying that by whatever you have set your stride length to be. The GPS watches are going to be a lot more accurate than a step counter type, especially on hilly terrain.
Note though that with a GPS sport watch (or an app on a phone) you will need to remember to start and stop it at beginning and end of your walking segments in order to measure the route you want measured. That may not be possible with some step counting devices, and so you will get totals for everything you walked with the watch on, such as side trips for sightseeing, grocery shopping, etc. That may be fine for you if you just want an estimated total for the entire trip.
My 945 also has step counting on all the time, in addition to the GPS tracked distances when I record an activity, e.g. walking. I recorded activities only while actually on the Camino segments, but I wore the watch all the time, so I got a Camino specific distance (GPS measured) and a total amount walked during the trip (step count measured). For example, on my recent Del Norte, the Camino route specific walking was 836 km, but the total walking during the period was over 1100 km. That latter number includes going for groceries, rest day sightseeing, shuffling through museums, etc.
A GPS watch will also provide you with amount of ascent and descent you have done during the recorded activities and your speed throughout the activity, if that level of detail is of interest. I reference that, because I find the amount of ascent and descent is more relevant for the difficulty of the stage and potential duration than the distance.
If you want to see some unbiased and knowledgeable reviews of the various brands and models check out DCRAINMAKER, either his website or the YouTube videos he has done. DESFIT is another sport technology reviewer that knows his stuff IMO. (There are a lot of pretenders lurking out there.)
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I’ve walked caminos with people where our various smartphones (sometimes of the same brand) have differed wildly in terms of tracking distance, as in one was almost double another even though they should have been the same. So my suggestion is to use a guidebook/Gronze/your phone to approximate the distance walked and don’t worry about it if it’s not 100% accurate.
Great advice!
 
as mentioned above, Gronze will give you a pretty accurate idea of the distances you walk each day. Beyond that, I’m not sure if you need anything else or anything more accurate. Just enjoy your walk.
Yep, this is all I ever use to calculate distances between stages. It's good enough for me and I use no other special tracking devices to further enhance my experience. That said, I have not yet walked routes that totally lack yellow arrows or mojones. Occasionally we have gone off trail by choice using google maps. I admit I am a bit backwards as I have little interest beyond the basics I've needed so far.
 
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It may be worth reflecting on the likely attitude of the Church in the heyday or pilgrimages:

"This isn't a precision sporting activity, it is a time for reflection and wondering about the meaning of life, with all its uncertainties, struggles and joy".
 
Well, I hope the OP and others get more out of this thread than the advice: "You don't need this". 😅

If no other nugget of knowledge can be found in this thread than at least the fact that mere step counters are fundamentally different from GPS based devices. @GaryRobArms pointed it out in post #25. And that difference does include accuracy but is accuracy the most important aspect for those of us who use these devices - as some mistakenly appear to assume?

When I walked to Santiago, I did not yet have my Apple Watch and an appropriate app. Whenever I had time, I manually entered my track into Google Earth as accurately as I could remember it. This resulted in a satellite/map based image produced in Google Earth that shows all the way from my home to Santiago and back home again - as I had walked it and not Gronze or somebody's Camino app. For me this is a most enjoyable souvenir of my long walk. It gives me more pleasure to look at it than looking at my stamped credencials does.

I now record longer walks in my daily surroundings (using Apple Watch and RunGap), and I will record my walking should I walk in the direction of Santiago again for a longer period of time. I've never been interested in counting steps. I'm at an age where staying healthy matters more than before. I enjoy monitoring some aspects while walking as well as having a visual map of my walk afterwards and a digital data track that I could export in kml or gpx form if I wanted to. And that's the point for me: I enjoy this stuff. On my own and for myself. 😇
 
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For me this is a most enjoyable souvenir of my long walk. It gives me more pleasure to look at it than looking at my stamped credencials does.
So true! Here is a screenshot of FindPenguins. It too is a record of sorts. Each circle represents an overnight stop. It is a way to share your Camino with others and to re-enjoy it yourself.
 

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download the app "Strava". it works for walkers, runners, bikers and even works on the high speed train.
 
I only asked about Wise Pilgrim because I have the app. On my last two camino's I winged it and stopped when I was tied, same again this year, miles/KM and steps is only a figure and unless you're obsessed it really doesn't matter if you've covered 3 steps or 30,000, same with Miles/KM. Enjoy the pilgrimage and don't fret about distances.
 
The responses above might satisfy your question. I rely on my Fitbit to advise me whether I’m still living or have passed. Its “steps” and mileage measurements seem to be remarkably accurate. It’s “three satellite GPS” probably helps there. But, and this is one of those Tinker bits, why do you want to know? My Fthing is useful to me when I’m arguing with my assorted medical advisors and helps me monitor my daily/weekly activity but it doesn’t change the distance between anywhere and somewhere unless I take the long way round. The distances available to be walked on any given Camino are well known and published. The actual distance walked by any given pilgrim while nipping into the bushes for a tinkle or doing two laps of a pueblo looking for an open bar will always make a difference to the record. Meanwhile, Santiago isn’t going anywhere and the distance you have to walk in order to get there depends entirely upon where you start 😉
I love my Fitbit
 
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I use the Camino markers and paper maps. I use Camino Nija to see distances between communities and then walk.
 
’ve walked caminos with people where our various smartphones (sometimes of the same brand) have differed wildly in terms of tracking distance, as in one was almost double another even though they should have been the same.
I went from Luquin to Los Arcos and back on the same path. Mosty of the time, the device claimed to have “three meter accuracy.” But when I plotted the track on a map, much of the return path was twelve meters from the outgoing path.

But generally, over all distance on devices is pretty accurate. If the positioning is not very precise, the zig-zag can lengthen the route. If you want more accuracy, use https://gpsvisualizer.com to convert the path to a spreadsheet, and replace each coordinate and timestamp with the average of it and its two neighbors. Then let https://gpsvisualizer.com convert it back to a GPX file.

Or, use two devices, combine the results (GPSVisualiser can do that as well), sort by time stamp, and average groups of five.

For what it's worth … I have an Apple watch paired to my iPhone. On the watch, I started an "outdoor walk" in the workout app and started tracking in an iPhone app called GPX Tracker. Started them at the same time and took a walk. When I got back, I stopped them at the same time. The watch said "1.82 km" and the iPhone app said "1.89 km"

Fifty meters may seem inconsequential, but the iPhone claims to have five-meter accuracy.
 
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What are the best watches/devices to measure your distance walked each day?
I used a Withings watch model “Sreel HR”. It was very accurate for mileage. It has an analogy face but keeps track of steps, heart rate, mileage etc. it is a “hybrid” so you only have to charge it every 20 days or so. $200 US.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion…. unless perhaps they might want to measure distance lol, in which case they will get a strong message that they shouldn’t. I would like to suggest the OP may have a good reason for wanting to. And, dare I say it, “interest” might be reason enough! For myself on the Camino I have just completed - 60 walking days from Pamplona to Santiago, measuring actual distance walked was critical. I was in the process of rehabbing Achilles tendon injuries and had maximum weekly distances to NOT exceed. When I did not pay attention I ended up in pain. The guidebook distances would not have been a good enough guide for me - my actual walking was closer to 1000km.
I wonder if different ways of phrasing opinions might come across as less dogmatic - for example, “Have you thought about….” OR “my experience was…” OR a genuine question about the OP’s needs.
Now I’ll hop down off my soapbox very carefully so as to not hurt my Achilles.
 
Many insist that all you have to do to get to your daily destination on the Camino is to follow the signs and you’ll get where you need to go. In my experience, this was not always the case. Nobody wants to have to deal with navigational markers that leave too much to the imagination, particularly when others are not readily available to consult.
I saw a yellow arrow that someone had placed to redirect walkers into their hotel. There was one near Los Arcos that was in the ditch by the path, and quite often had a car parked hiding it (on a five-way intersection). And near Estella, at an unmarked fork, I went the wrong way; after going a bit, I realized it was the wrong way, went back and took the other fork. Found the arrow marker more than fifteen meters after the fork! And there was one arrow that was actually correct, but I didn't trust it because it was ON a billboard advertising a hotel!
 

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